Over The Counter Drugs For Constipation
The common OTC medications for constipation have been grouped as follows: 1–4
Bulk-forming agents absorb water and help in the formation of soft, bulky stool, which prompt normal contraction of the muscles of the intestine leading to defecation. Some of these agents along with their trade names are as follows:
Dosage: Oral dose of 15–60 g/day along with at least 8 glasses of water in a day.
Interactions: These agents prevent absorption of medications that are taken within 30 min of the bulk forming agent
These agents tend to lubricate intestine by decreasing the absorption of water from intestine thereby facilitating easy passage of stool.
Some of the drugs under this group are:
Indications: Short term constipation
The stool softeners also known as emollient laxatives cause addition of water and fat to stool which softens it and allows strain-free movement.
The common drugs are:
Dosage: Oral dose of 50–360 mg/day.
Interactions: Prevents absorption of certain medications such as warfarin.
These agents cause secretion of water into the intestine by osmosis and thereby soften the stool to ensure its easy passage.
The commonly used drugs and their dosages are as follows:
Indications: Long-term constipated individuals who do not respond to dietary fibre supplementation.
The osmotic agents should be used carefully in individuals with congestive heart failure and long-term kidney disorders.
These agents initiate rhythmic contractions of the muscles of the intestine muscles to eliminate stool.
The common drugs and their dosages are:
Indications: Short-term constipation.
Interactions: Prevents absorption ofcertain medications, which are taken orally.
Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: March 21, 2012
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